SASKATOON -- A Saskatoon woman says she doesn’t appreciate having her newborn son taken from her arms on the suspicion that she had COVID-19.

Haily Champagne, 18, had a scheduled caesarean delivery on Sept. 18 at JPCH. She said after the birth of her son Jonathan, nurses took him to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), as he was having trouble breathing on his own.

Champagne said she didn’t recall the nurses explaining what was happening. She also said that nurses told her they had started formula feeding even though she wanted to breastfeed.

She said she was discharged the next day despite being told she would be in hospital for three days to recover from the surgery.

With her son still in the NICU, Champagne said she was able to see him and stay with him in a room.

While feeding Jonathan, Champagne, 18, says she told a nurse she was feeling nauseous after giving birth.

“She handed me the baby and went to go tell her charge nurse, and then they came back and said I had COVID, and I was to leave immediately and so they took the baby from my arms and made me leave the room to go downstairs to be assessed.”

Champagne said a doctor later told her she did not have COVID-19. After running tests, it was discovered she had low hemoglobin following the birth.

She said she didn’t appreciate how the nurses reacted, by taking the baby from her arms and suggesting she had COVID-19.

With her son still in NICU, Champagne is with him every day, hoping for a speedy recovery so she can take him home for the first time.

“We just want baby to come home,” said Champagne’s mother Amanda Borowetz. She’s trying to contact a client representative to advocate for her daughter and to make sure no other mother has to go through the same experience.


Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) spokesperson Amanda Purcell said the SHA cannot speak about specifics due to provincial patient privacy legislation.

However, she said the SHA is sorry to hear of the experience of the patient.

“Communication with our patients and families is a top priority for our health care providers and keeping mothers and babies together as much as possible has been a significant focus during the COVID-19 pandemic and most certainly in our everyday work,” she said.

Patients with concerns over their care can reach out to a Quality of Care Coordinator, who will work with the patient to start a confidential process into finding out what happened and see how the SHA may be able to help.